The strength of a mother
Fanaafi Maiava from Salelavalu is a hardworking mother.
With 12 grown children, the 57-year-old knows a thing or two about how to raise a family.
“Life was tough,” she said.
“I don’t want to go into details of how much I struggled (in the past) for my children to be well educated, but I thank the man above for the wisdom and the strength.”
Fanaafi loves her children.
“As a mother, if you don’t have that kind love for your family and your children you won’t make it in life.”
“We have our own plantation and as I’ve mentioned before – looking at ways to contribute to the development of my family...is a must...this is all about love!”
“I can do fatherly duties as well.”
“To be honest, this is me, no matter how old I am, tired most of the times, I always want to go to our plantation to provide, help and contribute for my family to the best of my ability. That’s my family, everyone works well together.”
Motherhood is also a journey.
“Being a mother is finding out about strength that you didn’t know you had,” Fanaafi said.
“Sometimes that strength is greater than anything in this world and it always goes together with love. Love is the best thing to have in life, whether you’re a mother, father, youth, matai, pastor or whatever position you hold.”
“I tell you, no matter how hard life gets, it always goes on when we have that special place in our heart for love.”
“If you don’t have it (love) you just can’t carry on and perform your duties to the best you can.”
Moreover she said that the role of the man is leadership, while the role of woman is being the source of strength and support.
“Fathers can do whatever they want but a woman with courage is always their to look after the children and the family.”
“There’s always a saying that without a mother, the world has no taste.” she said.
“The role of a mother is to look after her children and to support her family.”
In Samoa, mothers responsible for raising children, feeding them, providing for them and showing them how to live their lives.
“Yes, we’re responsible for a lot of things... but, our children should always be our priority....they always come first.”
“And it is the mother’s duty to make sure that the child is healthy and strong and stay out of trouble.”
“I also want to encourage other parents, we should never stop telling them off when they do something bad.”
“If we really love our children, then we should never let them do whatever they want.”
“We as parents know life better than they do, train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
She said one of the most precious time of her life as a mother to her family is having a chance to share her experiences with her children.
“This is normal routine for all the mothers in Samoa, and I think that’s why mothers of Samoa is differ from other mothers in Samoa.” she said.
“Especially mothers to their daughters.”
“As of today, I give advise whenever I can, because I think this is why many mothers are losing their children, because of the lack of communication.”
“Parents need to show positive attitude infront of their children because if they display a negative attitude their children may adopt that as their own attitude when they grow older.”